MEINEKE STORE#728 - What u don't know could kill u
FREDERICK, MARYLAND -- Since 2006 I have managed and worked intermittently as a technician for Meineke, store #728 in Frederick, Md. In my opinion I have been dismissed from that shop because I would not let unethical, unsafe and uneducated repairs continue and I repeatedly pointed them out to the owner and current manager. On a daily basis I have witnessed them selling rotors, brake pads and calipers that my 20 years’ of experience suggest do not need to be replaced. Commonly, brake pads with as much as 7/32 of an inch left on the pads are replaced. Depending on a person’s driving habits, it is common knowledge in the industry that pads with as little as 4/32 of an inch could last up to a year, yet, I have seen this shop tell customers they need to replace their pads. Regarding replacing rotors, I have seen them recommend replacing rotors that in my opinion don’t need to be replaced. I suggest if you’re ever sold a rotor, make sure you ask for the old part and let the mechanic know you plan to take the rotor to a safety inspector to be sure they are necessary. Typically, rotors aren’t necessary to replace just because your pads need to be replaced. I believe that because the shop isn’t making as much money doing honest brake jobs, they are selling parts that aren’t necessary.
I have also witnessed the owner and manager do what I believe to be illegal safety inspections. They give safety certificates to people without looking at the car and put the cash in their pockets rather than putting the money through the shop. They have been putting unsafe cars that don't meet minimum safety requirements on the road to drive next to you or your children.
In my opinion because the store owner is so limited in his mechanical knowledge, many repairs go misdiagnosed costing the customer more money or worse, jeopardizing their safety and those on the road with them. I have personally witnessed mistakes, such as leaving steering couplers loose, which is a mistake that could kill someone, happen.
If you need an inexpensive exhaust repair I would completely recommend them. But, any exhaust part that needs to be replaced should be compared to another shop like your local tire store etc. No doubt there will be no savings for the customer going through Meinke. It’s also important to note that they increase the cost of any part they buy for the customer by as much as 300%.
After I began to speak out about the extensive misconduct of the mechanics and manager and owner of the shop, the work environment became hostile and I was eventually ousted on bad terms. I felt I had to report them to the local state trooper and hopefully they will never be able to do a safety inspection again. Also, be aware that the Better Business Bureau gives them a D minus rating as of August 2012, on a scale of A thru F. To see that information go to www.bbb.org.
I wonder if corporate gets paid for bogus inspections or all the work done under the table?